DOING SOME GOOD
How do you balance local and international sourcing practices?
We buy all our fruit and vegetables from the local market where produce comes across the region as well as the UAE. We have a responsibility to provide the best for our customers and part of that responsibility is to source the best ingredients within the region. That said, most of our meat comes from Canada because the abundance of natural resources there means these animals live a very healthy life, which in turn results in a superior quality end product. our fish is mostly from the Mediterranean because it’s closest and freshest. Local fish isn’t as sustainable as we would want it to be.
You’re passionate about reducing food waste. How do you think restaurants can influence this?
I believe social responsibility should be key for us all, and portion control, balance and education can help reduce food waste. I also make sure we use byproducts to create new dishes. for example, using vegetable stems to make stock for risotto instead of throwing them out.
You work in Europe as well as in the Middle East. How does customer engagement with ethical issues compare?
Naturally, European consumers are more aware, and have been for a long time. But you learn from the people you are around, and having an expat community, I believe, is influencing the way we address ethical and environmental issues here. It has a very positive impact on the rest of the community in the UAE.
What would you like to see change to help reduce food waste further in line with the government’s objectives?
The packaging of the ingredients is a problem for me, there are too many boxes, even with local produce, and there is just no need for it.